The core objective of a business is to earn profit and in eagerness to do this, they follow varied market instruments like mergers, acquisitions, and amalgamations. Profits depend on the base expansion of customers and capital. This expansion can also be achieved through market monopolisation. But, the democratization of the market and competition around have created a healthy business environment leaving limited scope for monopolisation. So, companies in a race to establish their monopoly are trying to expand through acquisition and this market domination zeal is costing them a lot.
Byju’s reported Rs 4,588 crore loss
The Companies Act 2013 requires every company to conduct an audit of its financial accounts and submit it to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) within one years of ending the financial year. In addition to one year, the filing should not be delayed for more than seven months.
But, after 18 months of delays, BYJU’s company has finally submitted its mandated financial statements and annual returns for the financial year 2020-21. In its statement, BYJU’s stated that it had earned Rs 2,428 crore in revenues and incurred a loss of Rs 4,588 crore in financial years 2020-21. The loss is reportedly 15 times higher than 2019-20. As in 2019-20, the education technology company had incurred a loss of Rs 300 crore.
Product of the digital revolution
BYJU’s, the multinational educational technology company, was founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath. The current valuation of the company is USD 22 billion and has over 115 million registered students. Making entry in the age of digitalization, BYJU’s growth trajectory was mostly inclined toward the online education model. Coinciding with India’s own digital revolution, the company made a global presence in a very short period of time.
The technique of teaching students with 10-20 minutes of digital animation videos made significant improvement in the learning experience of pupils. The company is now focusing on developing BYJU’s Future School, which will, according to the company, ‘inspire kids all over the world to fall in love with learning.’
This success in a very short span of time had provided the company with a huge funding base and the valuation of the company was estimated to be around $22 billion. A huge inflow of money has also provided the company with manoeuvring capacity for acquisitions.
Buyouts & buoyancy
Early market success and huge money inflow helped the company to acquire many budding start-ups, and in the spree of buyouts, dozens of them were acquired.
The major buyouts of the company are:-
|Acquired companies & their domain||Buyout Year|
|● Vidyartha, a data-driven platform offering customized learning guidance.||January 2017|
|● TutorVista and Edurite from UK-based Pearson.||July 2017|
|● Math learning platform Math Adventures.||July 2018|
|● US-based educational gaming company Osmo for $120 mn.||January 2019|
|● WhiteHat Jr, which teaches coding to children, for $300 mn.||August 2020|
|● Virtual simulations startup LabInApp.||September 2020|
|● Doubt clearing platform Scholr.||February 2021|
|● Tutoring firm HashLearn.||May 2021|
|● Aakash Education Services for $1 bn.||April 2021|
|● US-based digital reading platform Epic for $500 million.||July 2021|
|● Great Learning, professional and higher education player for $600 mn.||July 2021|
|● Whodat computer vision startup working on augmented reality products||August 2021|
|● Gradeup, one of India’s largest online exam preparation platforms in September 2021.||September 2021|
|● US-based Tynker, a leading K-12 creative coding platform in September 2021||September 2021|
|● Austria-headquartered GeoGebra that provides collaborative mathematics learning tools in December 2021||December 2021|
If we analyse the above-mentioned list, then it can be said that the frequency of buyouts increased immensely after the Pandemic. Also, the loss of Rs 4,588 crore shown by the company are of the same year in which they acquired these budding start-ups.
The complete lockdown and online education program would have provided the company’s strategists with the idea that the education market might completely shift to virtual mode. This forecast was announced by many other Indian companies. But the lifting of lockdown restrictions & ease of the pandemic wave brought businesses back to normal in offline mode.
So, the investment dried up in buyouts and the shift of business to offline mode limited the sources of revenue. The expectation of business to shift the whole education system into virtual mode had a break. The previous huge buyouts started to pose financial constraints to the company. The delay in filing the financial statement, subsequent buyout, and other unfavorable reports were suggesting the big loss and that’s what has been reported now by the company.
Earlier this year, considering the low business output, Byju’s and its subsidiaries were in spree of employee layoff. Reports suggest that BYJU’s subsidiaries Toppr & WhiteHat Jr. have laid off at least 600 jobs combined. It was also reported that 800 full-time employees of WhiteHat Jr resigned in May this year. The layoff was reported to be attributed to the payment delay of AESL acquisitions.
The extensions of payment dates and layoff of employees suggest that the mass expansion strategy of the company seems to be failing. In an effort to establish its monopoly, the company expanded its business and incurred a huge burden of payment. Now, facing a winter of funding inflows, the company seems to be in huge trouble.
Also Read: BYJU’s is (almost) bankrupt
Fraud with Poor Indians
There is a very thin line between greed and ambition. With positive desire and determination, ambition can take you to the heights of business success with sky being the limit. But the greed to dominate the market can drown you in the trenches. That’s what seems to have happened with BYJU’s, an Indian multinational educational technology company.
In the greed to become the biggest EduTech company in the world, BYJU’s company acquired dozens of companies during covid and post-covid times. Now, struggling with financial and business loss. The situation has become so critical that BYJU’s is now struggling to fulfil its payment promises. In an effort to increase sales it is fooling poor Indians.
Reports suggest that BYJU’s company management has resorted to fraud in an effort to sell its online educational products. First, they target the lower and middle-class parents who would do anything to make the lives of their children better. The salesmen of the company lure parents with a dreamy future for their children and makes them ready for the loan process. Poor and illiterate parents unaware of the EMIs and interest process agree to take loans. As they realize the recurring cost of the purchase, the damage has already been done. They block the parent’s number and move on to the next target. This online Ponzi scheme has destroyed many poor families. In love with their children, they get entangled in a costly BYJU’s course and find themselves in deep debt.
— Anmol (@anmolm_) August 29, 2022
Liquidity Crisis in BYJU’s
Once the flag-bearer of Indian start-ups, how did BYJU’s company reached such a glaring situation? Before the pandemic, the company was steadily moving towards the success of new heights. But, greed to monopolize the EduTech market of the world ended up as a disaster. In a zeal to dominate although they acquired the company but, now they do not have money for payment of these costly buyouts.
As investments in start-ups are decreasing, companies are finding it very difficult to manage their initial extravagant spending. Similarly, the initial spending of BYJU’s had already dried up their revenues, the low subscriber base further aggravated the financial conditions. In an effort to gain market share they resorted to unethical selling practices and started to loot poor people. They are yet to declare bankruptcy but they are already morally bankrupt.
Recently, Gaurav Munjal, cofounder of Unacademy, indicated the same. He said that the company needs to focus on profitability as the funding winter is here. BYJU’s company, which was sustaining & expanding its businesses with a huge spring of funding, is now facing the winter. The shift of business to offline mode has now started to reflect in the company’s strength. Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of BYJU’s, claims that in financial 2021-22 they have reached Rs 10,000 crore in gross revenues. But the subsequent unethical and greedy business attitude has been reflected in their annual financial statement of 2020-21. If he does not leave this attitude, BYJUs will lead towards a slow and torturous death.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM